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Priests, nun seized in Cameroon kidnapping Attack occurred in parish of Tchere

YAOUNDE, April 5, (AFP): Suspected Boko Haram gunmen seized two Italian priests and a Canadian nun in northern Cameroon overnight Saturday, in the latest kidnapping of Westerners in the remote, insurgency-wracked corner of west Africa. The attack occurred overnight in the small parish of Tchere, which lies about 40 miles (60 kilometres) from the corner of northern Nigeria that serves as a base for the Islamist Boko Haram group.

A group of armed men pulled up at the parish shortly before midnight, according to Henri Djonyang, the region’s head vicar, information that was confirmed by police. The gunmen ransacked the parish before seizing the priests and nun, according to news reports. The priests were identified as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri and the nun as Gilberte Bussier. One of the two priests taken on Friday night had been in Cameroon for more than six years while the second had arrived around a year ago, the Ansa media agency reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Djonyang pointed the finger of blame at Boko Haram, who have carried out several kidnappings in the region over the past year. “They are the ones who did it,” he said. Kidnappings of Westerners have become common in the remote and sparsely populated region, where borders between countries are porous.

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